Marie, I don’t recognise myself anymore! I am someone who naturally worries, but now I am at my peak! I am 18 weeks pregnant and feel that my stress is rising as my pregnancy progresses. I am losing control of myself. I feel like I have symptoms I have never had before. I spoke to my doctor, and he told me to take deep breaths in the bath to try to relax. But I always feel tense, I have difficulty resting and sleeping and have difficulty concentrating at work. I am scared of what is coming, I fear the next days and weeks and how the pregnancy will end. I thought it was supposed to be fun being pregnant, but it’s almost like a nightmare for me! What do I do? Thanks for listening and looking forward to your help! Angélique.
Angélique, I am very sorry for you, in the sense that your happy pregnancy has become so difficult. There is light at the end of the tunnel! You just did the most challenging thing you need to do, recognising the problem and asking for appropriate help to better handle the rest of your pregnancy and arrival of the baby.
The gestation period is often a time of significant stress for women and men expecting a baby. This is normal because many unknowns remain up to childbirth and then even after.
The fear of facing the unknown, negative anticipation, difficulty managing stress, and avoiding situations can lead to anxiety during the perinatal period. Pregnancy brings out vulnerabilities, and the intensity can be surprising.
If you worry more than 50% of the time about different aspects of your pregnancy, you may have difficulty handling stress and are manifesting anxiety with excessive worries.
The signs you spoke about are really related to manifestations of anxiety: agitation, quick fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and sleep problems. Each individual reacts to stress differently, positively or negatively, and anxiety is a way to respond to stress.
It’s scientifically known that anxiety disorders increase during pregnancy and the postnatal period. So you should really ask your health professional for psychological help, support, and ways to make you feel good – sports, relaxation activities, yoga or meditation. There are solutions. If you can better control your anxiety symptoms, you will feel that the pregnancy experience is more positive. You will also be better able to adapt to your parenting role. It’s a win-win situation. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure!
Let me know how things go and take care of yourself!
The Baby Expert